Black Algae Jacket

A 3 layered coach jacket built with thermobonded eucalyptus and black algae.

$495.00 $247.00

Model is 6ft 4 / 193cm with a 40 inch / 100cm chest, and wears size XL.

  • Dye made from algae waste
  • Garment dyed for softness
  • Three-layered material with rippled texture
The colour black is everywhere. From our phones to our cars to the ink in our pens. But black has a dark side. Every black thing you own is likely to contain carbon black – a pigment derived from petroleum. The way carbon black is made isn’t sustainable. Vast tracts of land called tar sands are stripped of all life and vegetation to extract the heavy petroleum, while the production process creates significant greenhouse gases. So we’re on a mission to replace it with the world’s first black algae dye.

While we’ve garment dyed simple clothes like t shirts and henleys in big baths of black algae before, we hadn’t tried fully submerging anything as complex as a fully finished three-layered, thermobonded jacket, with a core built from eucalyptus. And it turns out that when you submerge pulped eucalyptus in a giant bath of black algae, it reacts by violently shrinking. This then causes the outer layers of the jacket to fold over and bubble. And while the jacket stays beautifully soft, it creates an organic texture that looks halfway between a tree trunk and elephant skin.

Technical Details

Material made in Portugal: 46% organic cotton, 27% recycled cotton, 27% lyocell
Material is three-layered and thermobonded for structure
Jacket garment dyed with black algae dye
Wind resistant
Two open side pockets
Two open inside pockets
Jacket fastens with six gun metal snaps
Pointed collar
Articulated three piece sleeves
Material weighs 340g/m2
Jacket weighs 950 grams
Machine wash 30°C
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The world’s first jacket dyed with black algae dye

While we wanted to do something completely new with the classic Coach Jacket, we originally had no idea that building it with thermobonded eucalyptus and submerging it in a bath of black algae would make it look like elephant skin. When you’re first to work with new materials 2 things normally happen. First you have to work through all the issues that no-one has encountered before, which is expensive and time consuming. Second, if you spend long enough in the lab experimenting, happy accidents happen. In the case of the Black Algae Jacket, we got the second.

While we’ve spent a lot of time and money creating effects like this in the past with our Mars Hoodies, here nature did the work for us.

Versatile and easy to wear

As well as making it look like no other jacket in your wardrobe, we wanted to make it incredibly easy to wear wherever you are, so we took inspiration from Coach jackets – the highly versatile button-up jackets made famous on the sidelines of American sports fields. The Black Algae Jacket’s simple cut and softness mean you can throw it on year-round, whether it’s a cool summer evening or combined with warm layers in the winter.

Garment dyed for softness

While most clothes are dyed with a process called piece dyeing – where huge rolls of fabric are dyed, before being cut and sewn to make clothing – we garment dye every Black Algae Jacket by fully submerging it in dye to give it its dark grey colour. Garment dyeing makes the jacket look and feel lived-in from the day you get it, with the colours building up in the stitching and creases while coming out paler at the edges. It’s a process that requires more time and care, but creates a look and texture that can’t be mass-produced.

Designed to mimic the textures of nature

When it’s immersed in the algae dye, the jacket’s three-layered fabric reacts in a unique way. The lyocell fibres in the middle layer shrink and tighten up, causing the cotton on the outside to pull together in some spots, and bubble up in others. The result is a rippled texture that mimics the naturally-occurring interconnected patterns produced by plants, trees and elephants.

The first clothing dyed with black algae

We’re on a mission to show that black algae dye can be a viable and sustainable alternative to traditional petroleum-based dyes. So over the last few years we've been working with US biomaterials company Living Ink to accelerate the adoption of black algae as a way to colour clothing. After their founders Scott and Steve discovered that an algae cell is almost identical in size to a carbon black pigment, and can create the same colour, they’ve been on a mission to replace carbon black with black algae waste.

Turning algae into dye took 5 years of R&D

To create a black algae dye, each individual particle in the pigment needs to be microscopically small, otherwise the jacket’s fibres won’t absorb them. So Living Ink have spent 5 years in R&D working on how to reduce the size of the black algae particles to an average of 1 micron. This breakthrough creates a sustainable alternative to dyeing clothing using traditional carbon-black based dyes, and with a clear pathway for scaling up.

SIze + Fit

The Black Algae Jacket is designed with a regular fit.

Fits chest 83 - 90 91 - 98 99 - 106 107 - 114 115 - 122 123 - 130
Fits waist 71 - 76 76 - 81 81 - 86 86 - 91 91 - 96 96 - 101
Fits chest 33 - 36 36 - 39 39 - 42 42 - 45 45 - 48 48 - 51
Fits waist 28 - 30 30 - 32 32 - 34 34 - 36 36 - 38 38 - 40